I don’t see any profit or gain in exposing first and then waiting for her to come home to confront you about the exposure. The only instances I see a gain in not confronting first is if you have already decided infidelity is a complete dealbreaker and have no hope or wish to reconcile. If that’s the case then do some legal checking and then simply let her know you have filed.
But then – I’m not big on revenge or pain, but I am big on result.
When you expose you do so from a position of strength. You are not asking her if she’s cheating or trying to prove to her that she’s cheating. You KNOW she’s cheating. You don’t need to tell her how you know or when she cheated. In fact – you can lie if that’s to your advantage. You don’t have to prove anything.
Exposure is something you need to do and should be done more-or-less simultaneously as the confrontation. You expose without warning your wife about it or giving her a heads-up. The goal of exposure is to create an environment where the affair becomes reality and pressure is applied to WW to do right.
I have a standard boilerplate text I suggest men use when confronting their wife. You can definitely reword it, but this is the gist of it:
“Wife. I know you are having an affair with OM (name him). I have known for some time and have enough proof from enough sources so there isn’t any use in you denying it.
I envisioned us being married for life. I dread the thought of this infidelity ending our marriage. But I have also realized that there is something immensely worse than losing you. In fact, I lost you the moment you decided to have an affair with OM. What is worse than losing you is SHARING you.
I don’t share my wife. It’s that simple.
You are free to be with OM. You are free to date him, have sex with him, openly go out with him… whatever. But not as my wife. It would be an expected sign of respect if you are discreet about it, but that’s totally your call.
While you are committed to your infidelity, I release you of all obligations as my wife, and release myself from all obligations as your husband. I am initiating the process of terminating our marriage, both the emotional and legal process. Regarding the legal process then there are rules and laws that should ensure we both are treated fairly, and I will abide by those laws.
If you want this marriage then you need to tell me so in a clear, unequivocal way. You need to end the affair NOW and accept some unavoidable conditions such as the truth, accountability, and openness. Even if you do then as is all that will do is delay my commitment to getting out of infidelity through divorce. If you want this marriage and can show me so with your actions in the next days, then I might become convinced to reconcile.”
And then you go make a sandwich. Watch reruns of Friends. Whatever. There isn’t really any more to say. She can decide to commit to her OM – either by refusing there is an affair or by refusing to end it – or she can decide to commit to the marriage.
If she does the former you simply enjoy your sandwich and then carry on the inevitable path of separating your lives.
If she says she wants the marriage you ask why. You then remove each and every reason to remain married until you only have ONE: She wants to be married to you because of you.
We need to be married because of the kids: No. It’s better for children to be from a broken home than be IN a broken home.
We are broke and can’t afford D: Yes, we can. We can find ways. If we are sensible and realistic then D isn’t expensive
What will people say: Not an issue. They will gossip for a week and then the next scandal will occupy their lives.
Remove. Each. And. Every. Excuse.
Until she simply says she doesn’t want to lose you.
She’s going to tell you why she had to have the affair. There is a standard answer to EVERYTHING:
You didn’t show me attention: I am sorry you feel that way. It doesn’t explain or justify your decision to have an affair. If we were working at our marriage we might have to deal with that issue, but since you are committed to your infidelity there isn’t really and need to go there.
You go fat: I am sorry you feel that way. It doesn’t explain or justify your decision to have an affair. If we were working at our marriage we might have to deal with that issue, but since you are committed to your infidelity there isn’t really and need to go there.
I was lonely: I am sorry you feel that way. It doesn’t explain or justify your decision to have an affair. If we were working at our marriage we might have to deal with that issue, but since you are committed to your infidelity there isn’t really and need to go there.
See the pattern? No matter what she says don’t enter confrontation. It’s not an issue unless she commits to the marriage.
AND NEVER accept ANY blame for the affair:
You didn’t show me attention – you got fat – you have bad breath…. and that’s why I cheated
Is answered with:
If something I did made you have to have an affair, then there isn’t any use for us to try to reconcile. It only makes me more committed to the inevitability of a divorce. After all – if my actions cause you to cheat then what could happen 2-3 years down the road if I buy regular milk instead of skim-milk like you asked me. Could that mistake cause you to have a new affair?
She wants to talk divorce: I am too emotionally attached to this marriage to talk details now. We will deal with this in the appropriate way at the appropriate time.
If she commits to the marriage the first requirement is that she NEVER again initiate any contact with OM without your knowledge or approval, and that any contact from him is made known to you.
Break it off? A short NC letter. No personal contact.
If you want to reconcile then expose to all stakeholders in the marriage, plus the OM wife.
To the OMW simply state what you know.
To stakeholders (parents, siblings, friends): My wife is having an affair with OM (name him – don’t ever hide anything). I have enough proof to be totally 100% convinced. I would appreciate all guidance and support at these difficult times.